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Travis Rowley: Tell Minorities a Story

Saturday, December 14, 2013


On the heels of US Senator Rand Paul’s (R) engagement of Detroit residents with a speech at the Detroit Economic Club – a speech in which the Senator proposed “economic freedom zones” that will allow the city to forgo $1.3 billion in tax revenue in order to enable minority residents to “bail themselves out” – the RI Young Republicans made their presence known at a fundraiser for the RI Latino PAC this week.

Among the wreckage of numerous Democratic strongholds (primarily urban neighborhoods) – and in the wake of so many false and broken promises – the conventional thinking is that there is great opportunity for a competing political party.

Amidst the desperation, perhaps minorities are listening now more than ever.

But I hope the surge into Democratic territory is more profound than the advice that has recently emerged from left-wing quarters – that is, that Republicans must “evolve,” become more “diverse,” be more “welcoming,” and offer a softer “tone” when engaging women, blacks, and Hispanics.

After all, such counsel is grounded in decades of Democratic lies and smears regarding the Republican character – as if Republicans haven’t always been reaching out to minorities; as if Republicans have actually been waging a “war on women;” as if Republicans have actually made it a habit to speak to minorities with contempt. Perhaps with politically incorrect honesty. But not with disdain.

And let’s face it: At the end of the day, this Democratic guidance is ultimately aimed at having Republicans drop certain platform positions – particularly policies regarding immigration, abortion, and the welfare state.

Black Conservatives

If the wretched condition of all these Democratic strongholds represents a teachable moment, then history should be included in the instruction. This political effort by Republicans requires the correct historical record and perspective – lessons that are most likely to offer that watershed-moment that so many conservatives testify to experiencing; that instant when, all of a sudden, they realize that they have been lied to for so long about so many things.

The necessary perspective that will be just as politically incorrect as anything Republicans have ever attempted to communicate to minority communities would include the fact that December 6th marked the 148th anniversary of the signing of the 13th amendment – the abolitionist triumph championed by the Republican Party, and fiercely resisted by the Democrats.

Democratic defiance to 100 years of Republican civil rights legislation following the Civil War – and the fact that the Ku Klux Klan acted as the militant wing of the Democratic Party – always proves to be a shocking reality as well.

The Democrats’ decision to jump in front of the civil rights movement by turning it into a socialist escapade must be pin-pointed as the beginning of a tragedy, and the beginning of party realignment. The words of President Lyndon Johnson (D) are always helpful in confirming this, and in getting modern black liberals to begin discarding the progressive myth of government altruism. “I’ll have them niggers voting Democratic for two hundred years,” Johnson plotted almost 50 years ago.

Decades later, appropriately pointing out the results of such duplicity, black conservative columnist Star Parker would write, “Instead of solving economic problems, government welfare socialism created monstrous moral and spiritual problems. The kind of problems that are inevitable when individuals turn responsibility for their lives over to others. The legacy of American socialism is our blighted inner cities, dysfunctional inner city schools, and broken black families.”

Buttressing Parker’s observation are other black conservatives such as Frances Rice, the chairman of the National Black Republican Association. In 2006 Rice wrote, “Democrats have been running our inner-cities for the past 30 to 40 years, and blacks are still complaining about the same problems. More than $7 trillion dollars have been spent on poverty programs since Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty with little, if any, impact on poverty. Diabolically, every election cycle, Democrats blame Republicans for the deplorable conditions in the inner-cities, then incite blacks to cast a protest vote against Republicans.”

Correcting the Record

Human beings are visual and imaginative. In a political sense, spawning economic prosperity in black neighborhoods just isn’t enough. After all, the policies of Ronald Reagan lifted thousands of African-Americans out of poverty. In contrast, Obamanomics have left them far behind. Yet, African-Americans remain as faithful as ever to the Democratic promise.

Republicans must offer a narrative.

Republicans need to continuously tell a story that counters the one that Democrats tell so frequently – a tale of slavery and segregation. Progress, but also an ongoing struggle against racism. This is the tale that enables Democrats to forever contend that “we have come so far, but there is much work left to be done.”

In other words, black people still need the Democratic Party.

Republicans must tell African-Americans the truth in the form of an equally compelling story. The history outlined above is the prerequisite for comprehending the modern liberal obsession with race, and liberals’ seeming inability to stop accusing others of racism – no matter how absurd or misplaced.

Why is it, again, that brown bags and peanut-butter sandwiches are now considered to be racist? What kind of people are saying such things?


This totalitarian temperament when it comes to racial politics (e.g. labeling black conservatives as “Uncle Toms” and “race traitors”) reveals just how crucial this exercise is to sustaining Democratic power. If any significant percentage of blacks ever decide to leave the Democratic plantation, it would spell doom for the nation’s socialist party.

And individuals such as Rice and Parker have shown us that minorities are willing and capable of waking up to this political truth.

Perhaps there is no better place to begin this effort than within black neighborhoods. But Republicans should always be within an earshot of the Hispanic community as well. Any casual observer can recognize the fact that the Left has been attempting to replicate President Johnson’s political strategy by exploiting the burgeoning Hispanic population – introducing them to the culture of victimization and collectivism, and teaching them the neo-Marxist language of “fairness” and “social justice.” Community organizers now lead thousands of Hispanics around the streets of Providence, where the average resident earns less than $22,000 per year.

And if Hispanics don’t start listening to Republicans, then that is where they and their children will remain.

Travis Rowley ( TravisRowley.com ) is the author of The RI Republican: An Indictment of the Rhode Island Left.


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